The bad­dest man in Chi­na­wood?

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINESE TRAIN PROJECTS AROUND THE WORLD -

the su­perla­tive power of those fists of fury — un­til his eyes lock on to yours and nar­row.

He of­ten pauses be­fore an­swer­ing ques­tions, shifts into philo­soph­i­cal gear, and then gives a deadly or thou­sand-yard stare when he is done.

He is just as likely to break out in a mis­chievous laugh and in­vite you to join him on the Play Sta­tion as fin­ish a sen­tence by ex­hal­ing slowly from the back of his throat, as though a de­mon were try­ing to claw its way out be­fore he chains it back up in­side.

Tyson was nurs­ing a frac­tured left in­dex fin­ger the morn­ing we met from spar­ring with lead ac­tor Don­nie Yen on­set the day be­fore. When asked whether Yip Man, the hero, gets to beat him up, a smile crept onto his lips.

“I don’t know about that. You’ll just have to watch the movie,” said Tyson, who also ap­peared in Scary Movie 5 and Meet the Blacks, now in post-pro­duc­tion “He’s got some bruises, too.”

Ip Man 3 is due out in China in Fe­bru­ary 2016. Amer­i­can dis­trib­u­tors are al­ready be­ing courted.

Direc­tor Wil­son Yip was im­pressed enough by Tyson’s per­for­mance to add more fight se­quences and scenes for the ac­tor, ac­cord­ing to Max Screen, the lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor. Me­dia re­ports claimed Tyson is learn­ing Chi­nese and that the key scene will play out in an aban­doned fac­tory.

“It was very ex­cit­ing to work with him,” said Yen, who posted pho­tos on­line ear­lier last week show­ing a hugely swollen right hand. “We were able to un­der­stand each other re­ally well.”

In the pre­vi­ous two films, Yip Man fought a sadis­tic Ja­panese sergeant, pit­ting wushu against karate, and a racist Bri­tish boxer. In No 3, Yen looks set to face a pair of vil­lains painted var­i­ous shades of gray. Tyson’s is in league with Hong Kong’s chief of po­lice.

“Most trilo­gies are never bet­ter than the first part. This one is go­ing to step up. A lot of drama, more re­al­is­tic. It’s real. Life on life’s terms,” said Tyson.

Re­ports say Ip Man 3 will be re­leased in 3D and fea­ture a CGI Bruce Lee as no con­vinc­ing ac­tor could be found to por­tray the kungfu icon. All film­ing is be­ing done on lo­ca­tion in Shang­hai and at Heng­dian World Stu­dios in Zhe­jiang, dubbed “Chi­na­wood”.

The movie fo­cuses more on the stu­dent-teacher bond be­tween Lee and Yip, some­thing Tyson, who found in coach Cus D’Amato a sur­ro­gate fa­ther fig­ure, could re­late to.

D’Amato was able to re­pair the trou­bled teen’s frag­ile sense of self but trag­i­cally died one year be­fore Tyson stunned the world by drop­ping into the ring like an atom bomb to snatch the World Boxing Coun­cil ti­tle.

“The only way a per­son can be truly suc­cess­ful is if he has a men­tor that he wants to im­press and make happy,” he said.

“I wanted to im­press Cus. I wanted to make him happy. I don’t know if I ever thought I could be heavy­weight cham­pion, but he made me feel that way. And I knew if I did that, he would be proud of me. My goal in life was to get his ac­cep­tance.”

Re­flect­ing on his tu­mul­tuous life and ca­reer, which in­volved a dis­as­trous mar­riage to Robin Givens, sev­eral years in jail, a law suit against for­mer pro­moter Don King, and a no­to­ri­ous ear-bit­ing in­ci­dent with four-time world heavy­weight champ Evan­der Holy­field, Tyson said he has never looked back.

“I never re­gret once that I re­tired (from boxing),” he said.

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